Using Hamlet on the Ramparts
Have students pick passages from Hamlet 1.4 and 1.5 and use the resources in the sections "Adaptations and Promptbooks", "Art", and "Film," and "Staging the Ghost" under "Tutorials and Guides" on the website to structure their own interpretations. Have students work in small teams to come up with artistic decisions for set, costume, lighting, sound, and the cast. Students will explain their choices and rationale.
Using Global Shakespeares
1. Mock award panel -- Collectively choose 5performances of the same play from the website. Form panels in class to determine which one is prize-worthy. Narrow the candidates down to 3 finalists. Have students explain their rationale. Categories may include best acting, best adaptation (creative rewriting), best minor character, and so on.
For reference: Time Out New York's pick of 25 best Shakespeare-to-screen adaptations
2. Adaptation Project -- Your team is bidding to become the producer of a film based of one of the classic we studied. To win the bid, you must present a sample of your ideas. You have the option of presenting them on a website, as a trailer, Prezi (zooming pesentation online), or in a PowerPoint file.
You are asked to provide five elements of production design (each is worth 20 %):
- An explanation of your general approach to the production, including decisions about contemporizing vs. historical, realistic vs. stylized, etc., soundtrack and music -- along with whatever else comes to mind -- are additional considerations.
- A complete cast list (for speaking parts) with justifications for your choices. You are to cast well-known, real-life actors in the various parts. Cost is no object!
- A set design for at least one scene of the film, done either as bird's-eye or frontal design, OR a storyboard for part of the film.
- A poster or newspaper ad for your film. For full points, the poster or ad must be consistent with other elements of your design, and reveal something of the theme or mood of your production. Just the title with faces of actors will get less than full credit.
- Drawings or reproductions of costumes for at least three of the characters. You may draw these yourselves, scan them from books or magazines, or find images from the Internet.
3. Multimedia Essay and Scene Analysis -- What are the meanings of Shakespeare today? How do adaptations *create* and alter the meanings of a play on stage and/or on screen?What roles do setting, camera angle, music, and new cultural contexts play in the directors’ negotiation with values represented by Shakespeare?
Select a crux of Much Ado About Nothing. Make a few well-defined video clips of different performances of that scene (for example, the first wedding scene where Claudius repudiates Hero at the altar).
Write a 800-word analytical essay and cite video clips you made to support your arguments.